This is a national issue: County executive bemoans lack of coronavirus test kits

Mar 19, 2020

A lack of coronavirus testing kits is troubling Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz as new positive cases of the virus spring up in the county. Two cases were confirmed Thursday, one in Amherst and the other from an undetermined location.

Credit Erie County Department of Health

It’s not a lack of money to purchase the test kits, Poloncarz said, but a lack of tests.

“We can’t do more testing if we don’t have either the swabs or the re-agents,” he said. “I get very disappointed when I hear someone on the national level saying there’s testing capability for everyone because we know that is not true.”

Poloncarz said the state is in control of testing material are sent, but even governors are at the mercy of the Federal Government.

“This is a national issue. I’m talking to my colleagues from across the county and they’re dealing with the same thing. There is a limited stockpile of them.”

Credit Erie County Department of Health

Erie County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said county residents need to mindful to self-monitor.

“We just have to assume that you’ve probably been somewhere where someone was infected with COVID-19,” she said. “Because it’s prevalent in the community, so I think we all have to assume that we’ve all been exposed in some way or form.”

Burstein says the health department with provide the public with continuous updates where the virus is

Credit Erie County Department of Health

being found.